On Tuesday, Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Scott Kazmir, who has now been on the disabled list for seven weeks, made his first official rehab start with the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees. The results were eerily similar to Kazmir’s first start in the majors in 2011 on April 3 against Kansas City.
Kazmir failed to get out of the second inning, allowing six runs, two hits, four walks and a hit batter in 1 2/3 innings. He threw 50 pitches, only 24 for strikes.
One would think that spending time in extended spring training, making five starts and spending several days at a “baseball ranch” would have yielded some positive results, but for Kazmir, it’s the same old same old.
In comments made to reporters after the game, Kazmir said, “I feel good. My arm feels strong and everything, I just have some things I’m trying to iron out. I’m not consistent at the plate that’s for sure. It’s something where I’m just going to keep at it and keep working. Hopefully I’ll be able to get something behind the ball a little bit and have good direction.
“It was kind of a flip of a coin if I was going to be able to get it over the plate. It really had no direction and no drive straight to the plate.”
Can the Angels really afford a “flip of a coin?”
You have to give the Angels credit–they have been steadfast in their support of Kazmir, hoping beyond hope that the struggling left-hander can work out his issues on the mound. However, after an offseason devoted to strengthening Kazmir’s arm and working on durability, and now another seven weeks of intense work in extended spring training, shouldn’t they have their answer by now?
Angels manager Mike Scioscia spoke with Salt Lake manager Keith Johnson and pitching coach Erik Bennett after Kazmir’s start, and neither of them gave any indication that there was anything physically wrong with Kamzir.
“Kaz obviously had an outing where he didn’t bring his best stuff onto the field,” Scioscia said. “I think the consensus is he had a rough outing and he’s going to move forward with it.”
A rough outing? Seems to me that the last year and a half has been one rough outing.
It’s certainly understandable that the Angels would want to take time with any decision on Kazmir, considering he is owed $12 million this year and the Angels are on the hook next year for a $2.5 million buyout. But at what point do they finally say enough is enough? How many more “rough outings” can they withstand?
The Angels officially have 30 days to make any decision on Kazmir once he officially started his rehab. While it’s entirely possible that Kazmir could figure out what ails him on the mound, the likelihood that he won’t is far more possible.
It’s time for the Los Angeles Angels to cut the cord with Scott Kazmir and move on.